Stanford House launches its 'Great cake bake-off'

10 September 2013

Service users/tangata whaiora and staff based in Whanganui’s forensic mental health unit Stanford House are busy developing their cooking skills with cake making during September and October.

Stanford House registered nurse Marie White says three teams of a staff member and a service user are working together making cakes which are then judged on the day for their presentation and taste.
Mrs White says seeing service users and staff working together as a team and sharing their knowledge and skills to create a unique cake is quite ‘special’.
Every cake made over the two months will be photographed and the recipe entered into a Stanford House recipe book.
Those cakes will include Ohakune Carrot Cake, Banana Cake, Ginger Bread Cake, Banoffee Cake, Banana and Apple Cake, Louise Cake, Hazelnut Cake, Sultana Cake, Christmas Cake, Lamington Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Baked Bean Cake to name a few.
Vegetables and fruit grown by Stanford House service users are even being used in some recipes which fits with the call for participants to be adventurous and experimental where they can.
Guest judges include Whanganui District Health Board staff members and staff from community organisations including Balance Whanganui and Supporting Families. A special diabetic cake will be judged by a guest judge who has diabetes and first, second and third prizes will be awarded at the end of the competition.
Mrs White says the cook book will help other Stanford House service users become more confident about cooking as part of their rehabilitation. “And working as a team will encourage everybody who joins in to become more independent as they prepare to live in the community,” she says.
“Cake making encourages our service users to think about food presentation, the ingredients they choose to use when cooking, cost effective baking, safety in the kitchen, time management and hygiene.”

Stanford House registered nurse Marie White with Cameron Butchart outside Butcharts Home Cookery in Gonville. An award winning baker, Cameron is a guest judge supporting the Great Stanford House Cake Bake Off.